Kipchoge and Kipyegon nominated for another award

Kipchoge versus Kipyegon, who will emerge victorious?

Eliud Kipchoge and Faith Kipyegon have been nominated for the BBC African Sports Personality of the Year 2021 award

This year is turning out to be an amazing year for legends Eliud Kipchoge and Faith Kipyegon as they have been nominated for a second global award.

Only days after they missed out on the World Athlete of the Year Award, the Olympic Gold medalists have been shortlisted BBC African Sports Personality of the Year.

The two are among four other Africans competing for the annual accolade. The six contenders for the accolade were chosen by a panel of journalists from Africa and the United Kingdom.

The panel selected a shortlist based on the best African sporting achievements on the international stage in 2021 (between January and September). The impact of the person's achievement beyond their particular sport was also taken into account.

The nominees are:

Eliud Kipchoge

Arguably the best marathon runner of all time and this year, the 36 year old cemented his status over 26.2 miles after winning his second successive Olympic gold in the event.

Just the third person to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title, the Kenyan was later named the International Olympic Committee's best male athlete of the Games.

Triumph in Tokyo means he has won 13 of the 15 major marathons he has run since stepping up to the distance in 2013, with Kipchoge adding to a resume which includes the official world record of 2:01:39 he set in Berlin in 2018.

At 36, he was the oldest man to win the Olympic marathon since Portugal's Carlos Lopes (then 37) in 1984 and recorded the greatest winning margin since 1972.

Faith Kipyegon

The 27 year old set an Olympic record in Tokyo as she defended the 1500m title she first won in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The Kenyan dedicated the win to her three-year-old daughter, whom she credits with giving her extra motivation after taking a 21-month break from the sport.

The dedication was all the more significant since Kipyegon is only the third athlete to retain an Olympic title after giving birth between Games (along with Australia's Shirley Strickland, in 1956, and Cameroon's Francoise Mbango, in 2008).

Prior to her stellar display in Japan, she had set a world-leading time of 3:51.07 - the fourth fastest time in history - in Monaco in July at the Diamond League, an event in which she was crowned the year's champion in September.

Ntando Mahlangu (South Africa)

The 19 year old won his first Paralympic medal aged just 14, when he won silver in the T42 200m at the Rio Games in 2016 - just two years after taking the sport.

This year, he added to his collection when taking gold in both the men's 200 metres (T61) and long jump (T63) in Tokyo. The jump that secured gold set a new world record of 7.17m - even though he only started training for the event six weeks before the Games.

In April, he set a world record of 22.94s in the men's 200 metres.

Christine Mboma (Namibia)

Winning her country's first medal in 25 years, the teen took silver in the 200m, finishing behind Jamaica's five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Mboma's time of 21.81 seconds was the then fastest time ever run by a woman under the age of 20.

She went on to become the 200m Diamond League champion in September in Zurich, where her time of 21.78 set both another under-20 world record and a new African record.

The 18-year-old only began focusing on the 200m earlier this year, after being barred from the 400m by global governing body World Athletics because of her naturally high testosterone levels.

Edouard Mendy (Senegal)

The 29 year old has impressed at Stamford Bridge since signing for Chelsea from French side Rennes in September 2020 and was instrumental in the west London club's Champions League success in May.

He kept a record-equaling nine clean sheets en route to lifting the trophy in his debut season in the competition.

Mendy also made history by becoming the first African goalkeeper to play in a Champions League final and the first in Europe's showpiece event since Zimbabwe's Bruce Grobbelaar appeared in the 1985 final of the European Cup, the tournament's predecessor, for Liverpool.

Mendy's 19 clean sheets last season across both the Champions League and Premier League saw him pick up the UEFA Goalkeeper of 2020-21 award.

Tatjana Schoenmaker (South Africa)

The 24 year old made waves in Tokyo where she not only took home a gold and a silver for South Africa, but set new world and Olympic records in the 200m and 100m breaststroke respectively in the process.

In doing so, she won South Africa's first Olympic medal in women's swimming since 2000 and ended her country's 25-year wait for a female Games gold in the pool as she finished first in the 200m final.

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